An article by Roger Doiron on Kitchern Gardeners gives a great overview of the process and about Roger’s experience with Euell Gibbons’s Dill Crock. I found the recipe for Mr. Gibbons’s Dill Crock in the 3rd edition of Stocking Up by Carol Hupping.
These are great places to start. I’ve modified the Euell Gibbons’s recipe somewhat.
I do not use plastic for this. Instead, I use an old school Crockpot with a glass lid from a different size. My lid is one size smaller than the Crockpot. Why? So that I can keep the weight on the ingredients so that they stay submerged in the brine.
Don’t plug in the Crockpot! We aren’t cooking; we are pickling, pretty much 🙂
Here’s what I use:
Fresh Dill. I use a lot, but a good starting point would be four handfuls for each gallon of your container. I use a 2 gallon container, so I use 8 handfuls of fresh dill.
Garlic Cloves, peeled and smashed a bit to get the juices flowing. 3 per gallon container. Again, because I am using a 2 gallon container, I use 6 cloves.
Chili Peppers. We like anaheim and poblano, but you can certainly use hotter varieties. Use three per gallon.
You can use artichokes and carrots. I don’t, but you certainly can.
Scallions – use all of the scallion, including the top. Cut each one in half, lengthwise. 6 per gallon.
Cauliflower – 1/2 head per gallon.
Green Beans – whole – 1/2 pound per gallon
Celery, diagonal slices. 3 stalks per gallon.
Shallots or small onions – 10 per gallon.
1/3 cup salt per gallon
8 cups white vinegar per gallon.
Here’s how it works for me:
Start with the dill, 1 handful on the bottom of the clean and dry crockpot. Then, add a layer of garlic and a layer of peppers. Next, another layer of dill. Then, scallions (or small onions).
Next, a layer of beans on top of the scallions. Add a layer of cauliflower. Then, another layer of dill. Then, celery and another layer of scallions. Top with the rest of the dill.
Combine salt with 1/4 the white vinegar (for the 1 gallon recipe, you would use 2 cups of white vinegar). Mix salt and vinegar until salt is dissolved. Pour the vinegar/salt mixture into the Crock.
Add remaining vinegar (1 gallon recipe, you will have six cups left) to the Crock to cover the ingredients.
IMPORTANT: make sure that ALL vegetables are covered with the vinegar solution.
Crunch clear plastic wrap to push vegetables down. Cover with the lid or a weight.
Let stand in kitchen (pantry works well) 4 to 6 days. After the 6th day, refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator for a week.
OR, drain it after the 6th day. If drained, it will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 months.
Drain before serving.
See page 206 of Carol Hupping’s Stocking Up for a recipe without salt.